• Simoneta Caño de Las Heras
4. term, Sustainable Biotechnology, Master (Master Programme)
Simulators are proven valuable to enhance intuitive learning based on creating virtual hands-on experiences. However, it is common that the simulators used in engineering education are conceived for simulating rigorous designs and with an analyses aim. Therefore, their primary objective is not educational and it is not taking advantages of novel teaching methods that could engage the student in the learning process. Based on these ideas, user need identification among students of different educational levels in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) was carried out; in which an interest in the use of simulators, for the trial of fictional and non-fictional scenarios, and gamification with an educational goal was identified. Moreover, the literature research showed a lack of a simulator with these characteristics and even a methodology that integrated all those elements. Therefore, this thesis presents a systematic methodology implemented in a computer-aided framework for the development of pedagogical simulation tools with the integration of gamification elements. The application of the methodology was demonstrated through a case study.
This computer-aided framework is hierarchical and consists of five sequential steps. First, a need is established to determine the educational gaps, and therefore, the definition of a learning goal. Then, the description of the process including the mathematical and pedagogical description is made. Once the process has been defined, the model for the simulation of the process is constructed and implemented in a computer-aided software tool. It is noteworthy the use of template models to facilitate model creation and reuse. Next, possible elements for a game-based environment through the use of gamification are identified. Finally, the weak points of the simulator are evaluated through a pedagogical verification, which can provide information for the modification or validation of the learning design and/or the integration of game elements, as well as to involve the future users in the design of the tool.
In highlight the application of the proposed methodology, a case study on aerobic growth of Saccharomyces cerevisiae on glucose and in a stirred tank batch bioreactor was considered. The validation of the developed process was performed through a learner experience among students in their 2nd year of the bachelor of Sustainable Biotechnology at the Aalborg University (AAU) of Denmark and it was found that 100% of the participating students agree with the usefulness of the developed tool. Also, the students were involved in the design of the platform and as a result, they asked for the addition of more tasks to make the learning process more challenging.
Furthermore, prior to a future learning experience, the case study of the methodology was implemented in a software platform, called FermProc. FermProc is the direct implementation of the proposed methodology and its case study. The implementation was done in Python and its software architecture was designed with the presence of learning hints, interactive questionnaires and the modification of the kinetic model. The first version of FermProc is functional and subject to further improvements pending a second learning experience.
Publication date1 Jun 2018
Number of pages84
External collaboratorPROSYS-DTU
Seyed Mansouri seso@kt.dtu.dk
ID: 280252517